Swim Section

Introduction to Swim Events

There are so many events that encompass swimming that it is one of the core competitive sections within any successful surf club. The main events under this discipline (specifically surf swimming) are outlined here. Stillwater swim events are covered under the category of Pool competition (See Pool Lifesaving).

Surf Race

In these races competitors sprint from the starting line on the beach into the surf where they swim around a set of coloured buoys and return to shore. The finish line is located between two flags about 15M up from the beach, meaning competitors need to sprint from the water to the line.

Divisions for the surf race include Open, U19, U17, U15 and also Masters (see Masters). Race distance is 170M for U15 – Open, and 120M for Masters.

Belt Race

This exciting event has teams consisting of one beltman, supported by four linesmen. Using a traditional surf reel, line and belt, the objective is to be the first beltman to reach the swimming buoys at a minimum distance of 120M.

The linesmen ‘pay the line out’ as required by the beltman, being careful not to allow too much rope which will slow the swimmer down with excess weight, or to cut it too short causing the swimmer to be stopped mid-stroke. The belt swimmer wins the race by reaching his can first.

Divisions for the belt race include Open and U19.

Tube Rescue

Teams consist of four members – one patient, one tube swimmer and two rescuers. The race involves the patient either swimming or being dropped out to a buoy, who must be returned to shore using tube rescue techniques.

At the starting gun, the tube swimmer dons a rescue tube and fins, swims out to the patient and attaches the tube before swimming back to shore. Upon the tube being attached to the patient, the two rescuers must also swim out to the buoys and assist the patient back to shore. When reaching the shore, the patient is dragged up to the finish line and the first team to successfully rescue the patient wins.